Prized for its ability to thrive in shady places, Hedera helix (English ivy) is a vigorous, fast-growing, evergreen perennial which excels as a climbing vine or trailing ground cover. Adaptable and reliable, English ivy features 2 distinct forms: a juvenile form in which the plant climbs or spreads via aerial rootlets and produces lobed dark green leaves on non-flowering stems; a mature form in which unlobed dark green leaves appear on rootless stems that produce round clusters of greenish-white flowers in autumn, followed by yellow-orange to black berries. The Ivy berries are an important source of food for hungry birds in winter. If not eaten, they will persist until spring and provide food for young birds.
Being evergreen and shade-loving, Ivy is perfect for winter gardens and can form an attractive covering for garden structures. Ivy is not a parasite, does not normally damage buildings or walls, and is rarely a threat to healthy trees.